By Fr Jim Cogley

One of the most destructive and widespread myths that permeates Christian consciousness is the belief that the harder I try, and the more effort I put in, the better Christian I will become and the greater rewards will be mine. At its deepest level this belief denies the need for Christ as Saviour and reduces the faith that he taught to a matter of self-will. Here the focus is entirely on the power of the ego and any success it may achieve can only amount to glorified ego-centricity. Another term for this is self-glorification. It doesnt demand any level of surrender and leaves no room for the workings of grace. Unfortunately this is so common that it makes up much of what passes for authentic Christianity. No inner transformation comes as a result of self-effort and while everything appears good on the outside, the ego has never died to itself and so while there is a form of religion, it lacks its power source from within. While it may be capable of producing results it is incapable of bearing fruit.